The Assin Central Member of Parliament, Kennedy Agyapong, has been referred to the Privileges Committee of Parliament for threatening Multimedia Journalist, Erastus Asare Donkor.
The committee is to investigate whether the alleged threatening statement made by the lawmaker is contempt of Parliament or not and recommend appropriate sanctions.
The directive came after Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini, raised the issue on the Floor of the House.
Mr Suhuyini argued that Mr Agyapong’s conduct has brought Parliament’s image into disrepute and prayed the Speaker to refer the matter to the Privileges Committee.
“For those utterances to be attributed to the committee chairman of this house, I think it calls for the attention of this house. Mr. Speaker, he said that if he were the President of Ghana, he would have ensured that the said journalist, Erasmus Asare Donkor is beaten seriously and this comes in the wake of another such utterance he made in relation to Ahmed Suale which led to the identity of Suale being compromised and eventually murdered.”
“I think that as a former journalist, I feel obliged to draw the attention of the House to the conduct of MP which in my view brings this house into disrepute and so Mr Speaker, I urge you to exercise your powers and refer this conduct of the honourable member to the Privileges Committee to ascertain the veracity of the comments made and recommend some sanctions that will serve as a deterrent to other members.”
Speaker of Parliament, Mr Bagbin granted the request by the Tamale North MP and later referred it to the Privileges Committee to investigate the matter and report same for plenary consideration.
Mr Bagbin also warned MPs that they are not above the law to threaten people because of their parliamentary immunities.
The Multimedia Group, whose subsidiary, Luv FM, is Mr. Asare Donkor’s employer, has already filed a formal complaint against the MP for threatening its journalist on his Net2 TV.
The media organization said Kennedy Agyapong on a television show on his Net2 TV last Friday, called for the reporter to be beaten after raining insults on him.
It said the attack on the reporter by the legislator is a result of the former’s journalistic work in connection with the recent violence at Ejura in the Ashanti Region, and his testimony before the Justice Kingsley Koomson committee probing the issues related to the disturbances.
This is the second time, Kennedy Agyapong has been dragged before the committee.
But the Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, demanded proof from Mr Suhuyini over the alleged threats by Mr Agyapong.
Deputy Minority Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim, asked Mr Afenyo-Markin to allow the committee to investigate the matter for the consideration of the House.
What Erasmus said
Erastus Asare Donkor, a Journalist with the Multimedia Group in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, said he saw a total of seven military personnel who engaged in the shooting that left two protesters dead and four others injured in the Ejura disturbances.
He made this known when he appeared before the three-member ministerial committee investigating the issue. Mr. Asare Donkor further added that the military initially started firing warning shots into the air, but later changed the direction and fired directly into the protesters.
When asked about how long the shooting lasted, Mr. Asare Donkor said it went on for about 20 to 30 minutes.